CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER OLSEN
About eight months ago a friend mentioned that her family visited some WWII sites. “What?!” I am a war history buff and was under the impression that the only thing on the island for WWII was at the Peace Memorial Park. I asked her to provide a pin for the locations and she told me to Google it. Grr. Not what I wanted to hear.
Six months pass and life happened, but I still had it buzzing in the back of my mind. So I was on a mission to discover the locations of the Battle of Okinawa. It wasn’t easy. I studied my friend’s photos on Facebook and rummaged through websites.
I had an idea of where these Tomori Stone Lions were so we set out to find them.
The Tomori Stone Lions are a pair of Shisa lions on a top of a hill that were amidst the fighting during the Battle of Okinawa.
They survived the fighting with minimal damage. It was quite amazing find this. I would definitely recommend wearing closed toed shoes and possibly pants. While the area is well cared for, the grass by the lions is not trimmed. There are banana spiders in the trees and off the trail. As long as you stick to the path, viewing area and watch where you are walking, you will be fine. There are picnic tables that offer an amazing view for a sack lunch.
Directions: Head south towards Naha on the 58 until the 329. Follow the 329 until you reach the 507, turn right. Follow this until you intersect the 507 again. Turn right to continue heading south on the 507. Continue for about 3 miles. You will see a white sign that says, “Tomori Stone Lion.” Follow the white signs. It will have you turn right onto the 52. On the right side of the road you will see a white two-story shop that has an alley way right before it. Take the alley way. If you pass a bus stop on your left that has a big red shisa next to it you have gone past the shop. The white signs will mark all of the turns. It will lead you up a hill through little roads and past a field. The road will change to brick. Park here on the side of the road. Follow the stairs to the top and you’ve made it.
GPS Coordinates: 26.133662, 127.724260